The determinants of racial disparities in perceived job insecurity: A test of three perspectives

George Wilson, Tamela Mc Nulty Eitle, Benjamin Bishin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Why do African Americans report higher levels of perceived job insecurity than whites? We analyze data from the 1996 and 1998 General Social Survey to test alternative predictions from the compositional, inclusive-discrimination, and dispositional perspectives concerning the sources of the racial gap in perceived insecurity. Results from ordered probit regressions provide most support for the inclusive-discrimination perspective, which maintains that employment practices associated with "modern racial prejudice" induce perceived insecurity on a widespread and generalized basis among African Americans. Accordingly, compared to whites, African Americans experience perceived insecurity net of human capital credentials and job/labor market characteristics. Additional analyses provide one qualification to these findings: dynamics associated with the inclusive-discrimination perspective are more pronounced in the private sector than the public sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-230
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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